Aftercare Approach to Addiction Treatment

At Serenity Knolls, we believe that residential treatment can be an essential step on a person’s path out of the despair of addiction. However, we are also aware that treatment is just one step on that lifelong path. To achieve our objective of best preparing our residents to achieve long-term recovery, we are proud to provide a robust Aftercare Program for everyone who completes our Foundation Program.

Learn More About Our Lifelong Aftercare Services

The Serenity Knolls Aftercare Program includes weekly meetings via Zoom. We welcome and encourage program alumni to attend one or both of these meetings each week. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shelter-in-place orders, Serenity Knolls added Zoom 90 and Zoom 365 to the weekly online support provided to alumni. Participation in the Aftercare Program as well as Zoom 90 and Zoom 365 offers many benefits, including:

  • Structured guidance to ensure a productive transition out of care
  • Support to ensure that participants maintain and build on the progress they made while in treatment
  • Ongoing connection with the recovery community
  • Opportunity to give and receive support, share insights, and learn from the experiences of others in recovery
  • Ability to prevent small problems from becoming major impediments to continued recovery
  • Education to deepen one’s understanding of addiction and recovery
  • Positive feedback, including a monthly chip meeting that celebrates individuals who have achieved milestones in recovery

Aftercare meetings are typically designed to be topic-focused discussions or educational sessions, with one meeting each month also designated as the chip meeting. As an individual establishes a firmer foundation in their own recovery, they may begin to play a more active role in supporting others and giving back to the recovery community. For example, as indicated in the list above, many aftercare participants serve as sponsors to newcomers in AA, NA, and other 12-Step programs. The Serenity Knolls alumni family also includes a number of men and women who volunteer their time and insights at our residential center and in various other ways. Sharing the message of recovery and serving as positive examples for others are central tenets of the 12-Step recovery model, which our program is based on. These are excellent ways of reaffirming one’s own recovery.

While we all understand that recovery can be a challenging experience that requires dedicated effort, we also know that joy has an important place in the life of each person who has overcome an addiction to alcohol or another drug. In other words, sobriety is meant to be enjoyed, and the members of our Aftercare Program definitely believe in having fun. Group meetings are often vibrant and happy gatherings, and participants have many opportunities to stay involved with one another and connect with the place where their new life began. For example, each year a variety of activities are planned, including an alumni picnic, a golf tournament, and a recovery retreat. We also have wonderful events throughout the holidays to which all our alumni and family members are invited.

One of the most important and, we believe, impressive features of the Serenity Knolls Aftercare Program is that program alumni have lifetime access to this service at no charge. We encourage all residents to commit to attending aftercare meetings for at least six months after their time in residential treatment, but any individual who completes a minimum of 30 days of residential treatment at Serenity Knolls can participate in our Aftercare Program for the rest of their life.

We are proud that, in addition to helping individuals during the initial months of their posttreatment recovery, our Aftercare Program has become a foundational element of continued recovery for many individuals who have continued to participate for years after their time in residential care.

We are also immensely proud of the fact that we offer a similar form of lifetime support, again at no charge, for the family members of men and women who complete our Foundation Program at Serenity Knolls. Each weekend, we host either an educational group or a process group for residents who are currently in treatment. These sessions are also open to program alumni and family members, including loved ones of current residents and of alumni. We also host the Partners in Recovery group every other Sunday. As with the Saturday groups, Partners in Recovery is open to current residents, alumni, and family members.

Over the decades since Serenity Knolls was founded, our treatment center has been the place where thousands of individuals have found their way out of the darkness of addiction and began walking the bright path of long-term recovery. The successes our current and former residents have achieved are a testament to their strength and dedication, to the skills and compassion of our treatment professionals, and to the collective power of the recovery community.

To learn more about how Serenity Knolls is prepared to support you or a loved one long after the completion of a residential treatment experience, or for answers to any specific questions you may have about any aspect of our programming, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you determine if Serenity Knolls is the perfect place for you or your loved one.

Continuing Care

At Serenity Knolls, our commitment to our residents does not end with the completion of residential care. Instead, we recognize that recovery is a lifelong process, and we are dedicated to walking alongside those who come to us for care for the long term to ensure that they have the best possible chance of living a fulfilling life of recovery. To that end, we are proud to provide a range of continuing care options for individuals who have completed our residential treatment program.

Our commitment to long-term care begins before a resident even leaves our program. During the last two weeks of treatment, we work closely with each resident to create a discharge plan that meets their needs and allows them to continue to build on the progress they made while in residential treatment with us. These discharge plans are individualized, so no two plans are identical. Instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach, we work with each resident to tailor their discharge plan to their individual needs.

Once each resident completes the first three steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step program and has completed their Amends letter, we work with them to finalize their discharge plan. The discharge plan helps the resident identify pertinent information they have learned in relation to their triggers and substance abuse. Each resident also identifies what resources are available to aid in their recovery. The counselor then reviews the aftercare plan with the resident prior to discharge.

We recognize that transitioning directly to other forms of care after the completion of residential treatment gives individuals the best possible chance for maintaining their sobriety and minimizes the risk for relapse. Exceptional continuity of care is essential for helping individuals continue in their sobriety journeys.

To ease the transition back to their everyday lives and give them the best possible chance for maintaining the progress they have made, many of our residents are discharged to sober living homes. If a resident wishes to transition to this type of care after residential treatment is complete, arrangements are made for a representative from their chosen sober living home to pick them up from our center for a site visit and orientation. As described above, the recommendation is a direct transition to the next level of care so that each person minimizes their risk for relapse.

For residents who are going home at the end of residential treatment, another option is outpatient treatment, as it provides additional structure, support, and care. Although Serenity Knolls only provides residential care, we work closely with treatment providers who can offer other levels of outpatient care. The primary levels of care offered in the community are:

  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP): A PHP often acts as a first step between residential care and outpatient life. In a PHP, residents commonly receive therapy, participate in groups, and engage in other activities that further build their recovery skills and sober living abilities.
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP): An IOP generally acts as a step-down from PHP care or a step-up from traditional outpatient care. An IOP is similar to a PHP, except that it often takes place only a few hours per week, allowing individuals to have time for work and family commitments. An IOP generally includes individual therapy, groups, and a range of other activities.
  • Traditional outpatient care: Traditional outpatient care is the least intensive level of treatment offered. This type of care includes weekly individual therapy appointments with a treatment provider in the individual’s community and may also include groups, meetings, and other interventions. In many instances, it is generally up to the individual to select the interventions they want and incorporate them into their life.

All residents who are discharged from our residential treatment program are provided with a referral to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in their communities, a Serenity Knolls phone contact list, a list of potential sponsors, and, if needed, other healthcare referrals such as referrals to a therapist or psychiatrist.

Residents of Serenity Knolls who complete the Foundation Program are eligible to participate in the weekly Aftercare Program, which includes meetings that take place weekly in Marin County and San Francisco. Alumni are welcome to go to either or both meetings. The format of the meetings is either topic-focused discussions or educational in nature. Furthermore, the last meeting of every month is a chip meeting, during which chips are given out to celebrate the varying lengths of sobriety of each participant. This meeting is open to all alumni who have completed treatment at Serenity Knolls and is a lifetime benefit provided at no charge.

If you or someone you love might benefit from the high-quality and effective care we have been providing for more than 30 years, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and are honored to be a part of your or your loved one’s healing journey.

Facility Interior
Individuals doing Yoga
Individuals in Circle Talking
Facility Pool and Basketball Court
Facility Exterior
Individuals Sitting and Talking
Individuals Sitting at Tables
Individuals Playing Basketball

I appreciate the respect and compassion each staff member shows us. I am often emotionally
fragile at the zooms, and the encouragement we all receive is priceless.

– Former Resident